At that time, in these United States, young men like Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown were coming forward from within the ranks of the student and nonviolent Civil Rights movements and saying it was time for black people to get theirs, too. If that meant a confrontation with whites in power, so be it. If that meant offending the sensibilities of politicians and good liberal allies, they would do that, too. If that meant saying that the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King was an illusion, that the United States was not a place of brotherhood; Carmichael and Brown would not hesitate to proclaim it.
The man who loved the women in his life more than his children has been abandoned by those women, and now he will spend eternity with his daughter. I’m certain this isn’t what he planned at all.
It is well that we recall the challenges that Mrs. King faced in the days and weeks,
months and years following her husband’s murder. Far too often historians, journalists, and filmmakers ignore the unpaid labour of women and mothers that keeps households solvent and which enables the work of social change.
Exceptional is as Exceptional does. If the United States deserves plaudits it is for its Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. The U.S. Government should live up to these documents. Let the myth of American exceptionalism die. Then, perhaps, Americans can begin to tell a more truthful story about ourselves, our relations with one another, our neighbors, and the world.
My favorite track on LaBelle’s album is an original composition, “I Can Cook”. Its upbeat accompaniment and stellar vocals make it the standout song. With sass and big lungs, Patti blows the audience away in a composition about a woman who can do it all.
I was working from a short story I had already written. I could fill in more of the relationships between the characters, more of the motivations. Maybe I could even add some new characters, and then kill them off. But then what?